Warning: Femslash, fluff and other horrible things! Run while you still can!

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.. Except my own sick and twisted fantasies..

Broken

Brisk morning air whooshes past her lips, filling her lungs with a searing, refreshing sort of pain. She breathes out, puffs of air rolling out over a full lower lip. Her arms sway in rhythm with her legs as she continues on her morning jog. Sweat beads at the peak of her forehead rolling down her neck and soaking into her shirt collar. Her eyes are sharp and focused, taking in every minute detail. Music blares from her headphones, tucked into the crooks of her ears, shattering the tranquil morning silence. Her feet thud heavily down crushing wayward twigs and causing brittle snapping to echo into the distance.

The pain in her legs is dull, throbbing, and achingly familiar. She always felt at peace like this. No thoughts but those of the sweet morning air. Her own sort of meditation. Everything seemed right with the world, heavy metal clanging against her eardrums. The all-encompassing cacophony beating away any sort of coherent thought. She can barely manage a contented sigh as she feels the exhaustion seeping into protesting muscles, dulling the edges of still painful memories. This is when she felt enlightened, the sweet nirvana of physical exhaustion, numbness; of pushing herself harder when there was nothing left.

Her routine was consistent, never changing. It helped her feel control, structure in a world that provided her none. The mediocrity of day to day life fades away. The perpetual hopelessness of her life evaporates. At least she's not home, not yet..

Her footfalls slow to a stop, chest heaving as she bends over, lungs clawing desperately for air. Her eyes remain downcast as she keeps sweat slicked palms steady on her knees. She glances up from beneath thick lashes, idle fingers brushing away damp, clingy strands of jet black hair. Her copper eyes pierce the surrounding shrubbery, almost daring for something to interrupt her routine. She glances about warily, pulling out an ear bud, thudding a pulsing bass to thriving, pleading lyrics crooned with an enticingly poisonous tone.

She peers surreptitiously about her, feeling the premonition of something about to happen. She is not sure how, but she feels it deep within her core. She is made quickly aware of another presence, twigs snapping loudly and the sound of a feminine voice calling out in anguish. She hastily rips out her other ear-bud and plows through the underbrush in the direction of the voice. She heard it clearly and it seemed somehow familiar to her. She quickly bats aside stray branches teaming with strong, sturdy leaves.

Her eyes are abruptly overwhelmed by the sight before her. A small, frail looking girl had fallen, legs entangled in gnarled tree roots as spindly arms try to heave her chest upright. Painted blue lips are twisted into a pained grimace, heavily lined eyes tightly clenched shut. Blue-black hair clings to her face in small clumps stopping just beneath her chin, clunky black boots encasing her small feet. Eva stares in astonishment at the obviously unexpected turn of events in her morning run. The smaller girl's eyes open briefly, fluttering open to Eva's stricken face.

Eva quickly recalls the situation at hand and stumbles hastily, and a bit clumsily, to the other girl's aid. She kneels down at the girl's side remembering that her name is Gwen, and offering a steadying hand on her shoulder. Gwen's eyes widen as she took on an immediate expression of relief.

"Oh thank god," she utters, smiling lightly, "I didn't think anyone would find me."

Eva blinks bemusedly at the other girl and goes to wrap an arm around her shoulders.

"How long have you been out here?" She asks, sharp eyes darting about, checking for any obvious signs of injury.

"Only a half hour, but it's felt like forever," she grimaces again, "and I think I twisted my ankle..."

Strong hands tear up old tree roots, releasing the goth girl's feet. Eva carefully removes the boots, Gwen hissing in pain. Her left ankle was definitely twisted, the bones sticking out at odd angles. Eva winces in sympathy. She'd had her fair share of injuries and none of them had been particularly pleasant.

"You definitely twisted it," she says, glancing with uncharacteristic concern at the younger girl, "Any particular reason you were out here in the middle of the woods at..." She pulls out her MP3 player, "5:17 in the morning?"

Gwen flushes heavily, struggling to push herself up as Eva gently but firmly holds her shoulders down.

"Oh you know.." She said nervously, looking everywhere but Eva, "sketching..." She hesitantly looks up to see Eva raise a questioning brow.

"Whatever you say.." She grumbles, looking unconvinced. She begins looking about them as though a solution to their predicament would pop out at any moment. It's Gwen's turn to raise an eyebrow.

"Lose something?" she asks, smirking teasingly. Eva flushes, feeling foolish.

"No." She says gruffly, standing up as she brushes off her shorts. "I guess I'll have to carry you." She shrugs nonchalantly, as though this were a regular thing and unceremoniously bends over to scoop the younger girl up.

She cradles her gently in her arms, struggling not to handle her too roughly. She holds the girl firmly to her chest and feels slender arms knot about her neck. She feels a subtle warmth radiating off the smaller girl and shifts her nervously. She feels even more frail in her arms and she looks down to see the calm, trusting face of her companion. She gulps audibly, asking:

"Are you alright like this?"

"Yeah, I think so," a faint blush dusts the goth girl's cheeks as she snuggles into strong, steady arms. She feels a sort of security that she hasn't felt before. Eva nods curtly, pausing yet again to adjust her grip and set off back towards the camp.

Thoughts flit through her mind at a maddening haste as her heart follows suit. She had never been much of a conversationalist and was unsure of what she should say. She clears her throat awkwardly and looks down to see Gwen's eyelids fluttering softly. She lets out a quiet sigh as the girl dozes off and quickens her stride. Bramble crackles underfoot as she basks in the contented silence, letting it lap at the edges of her consciousness like gentle ocean waves.

Sunlight is beginning to filter through the foliage of the treetops, bright shafts of morning light dancing giddily about them. She can hear the first stirrings of life in the once desolate woods as it was beginning to come alive again. She wonders briefly at the miracle of life and the miracle of each day's sunrise and sunset. She looks down at the girl cradled in her arms. The soft vulnerability of sleep cast the girl's face in a muted sort of innocence. All harshness gone from her features as her chest rose and fell in a steady rhythm. Eva blushed to think of the miracle in her arms. To think that all these hundreds of years of life and seemingly random combinations of genes bore this perfect person resting her head lightly against her bosom, face vulnerable and trusting. Surprisingly she wasn't awakened by the racket of her frenzied heartbeat. Eva shakes her head, trying to figure out where all these strange thoughts came from when she heard a quiet yawn.

She realizes that she had been deep in thought for about an hour now. Eyes flutter blearily, the comforting veil of sleep falling from them as Gwen stretches lightly, bones popping. She winces as the throbbing pain in her ankle comes back to her. She gasps and unconsciously hugs Eva closer to herself in comfort. Eva looks away shyly, uncertain of what she is supposed to do. She wracks her brain for an answer only to glance down into deep, dark eyes and have all coherent thought scatter far from her.

Gwen sighs, lips slightly parted, and looks up at her companion. Lush black hair pulled hurriedly back into a messy ponytail, small wisps of hair loose at the nape of her neck and around her ears. Fierce amber eyes and a strong brow, sharp features flattered by softer lips. Gwen sits quietly observing the other girl as she stumbles through the underbrush.

"We're here" The other girl observes bluntly, breaking Gwen from her reverie. Eva hoists her companion to a more secure position against her chest. Gwen can feel the quick fluttering of the other girl's heart against her own, unsure that it was due to physical exertion.

Eva quickly makes her way to the medical tent, lifting the canvas flap gingerly and peering in. Of course Chef Hatchet isn't there as he was probably busy torturing the other campers with the filth he mistakenly called "breakfast." Eva stands uncertainly, shifting her weight and awkwardly wondering what to do with the girl in her arms. She finds her answer in an unoccupied cot in the far corner of the room. She sets Gwen upon it hesitantly, treating her as though she may break from the slightest jostling. Gwen settles back into the fluffed pillows, much unlike the lumpy rocks back in the cabins, and lets her eyes scan the face of her savior.

Eva glances about, still inexplicably bewildered. She busies herself prying open a large first aid kit and peering inside. She makes faces at the severe lack of adequate medical equipment and pulls out some gauze. Gwen giggles at the baffled look on the fitness buff's face. Said fitness buff looks quickly up at the goth girl looking even more bewildered causing the other girl to laugh harder. A hand shields her mouth as she struggles, and fails, to stifle her laughter.

Eva's face shifts abruptly, becoming suspicious and guarded. She stands up, fists clenched and glaring at the smaller girl. Gwen's laughter comes to an immediate halt as she takes in the look on the other girl's face. She looks up at her questioningly, unsure what she had done to warrant such a reaction.

Eva continues to glare, brow furrowed threateningly as she struggles to interpret the apparent mockery of the other girl. She regards her coldly with flashing copper eyes. Having reached some sort of conclusion in her own mind, she angrily throws the gauze down.

"You think I'm stupid don't you? That I'm just some big stupid brute.. Just like the rest of them" her gaze doesn't waver as her defenses spring up. Gwen watches pain flit through deadening eyes, perhaps the remnants of a painful past.

"I thought you were different. I thought maybe you'd understand..." Her face softens for a moment, voice choked and tears welling in her eyes. "Fine. Go ahead, mock me.. See if I care, after all it's not like I have any feelings, I'm just a big stupid brute after all..."

Her body shudders, a single tear betraying her as it slides down her face. She brings up a clenched fist and grinds it roughly against her eyes. Gwen sits, mouth agape. Where had this come from? This was definitely a side she hadn't expected..

She looks at the taller girl struggling to maintain her composure and feels a stab in her heart. She knew how it felt to be mocked, after all she was the "outcast." The unwanted solitude, the stabs of snickers behind your back. She hadn't intended her laughter to be interpreted like this. She quickly sits up, gasping at the sharp burst of pain in her unwilling ankle and leans towards the other girl.

"Eva?" she asks tentatively, "Eva?" she says again, more insistent this time. Eva looks up at her, eyes smouldering and angry, posture defensive.

"What?" She asks crudely, eyes suddenly clouded and unfeeling. Gwen mentally reprimands herself for having hurt the girl so.

"I'm sorry..." She says quietly, head hung demurely.

Eva snorts. "You're just saying that to save your own ass." She says accusingly, arms folded, muscles taut as she readies herself for the next verbal blow. It never comes...

Gwen clutches the bedsheets nervously as she looks up at Eva. "I do mean it, I was just laughing because you looked so worried. It was kinda.. sweet.." She blushes. Eva's eyes look vulnerable for a brief second before clouding over again. She opens her mouth indignantly before Gwen holds up a silencing hand.

"I really do admire you Eva. You're a very strong person. I don't think I could ever do what you do.." She glances up briefly before quickly breaking eye contact in favor of the soft dirt floor. "I'm just worried about you, Eva. You carry so much on your shoulders, I can feel it, but no matter how strong you are, you're still one person. I want to help you..." Her voice cracks as she looks up to see Eva staring off, expression unreadable. Her body looks drained and tired, unlike Gwen has ever seen her before.

Eva slowly comes to, looking down at the gauze strewn haphazardly across the floor. She bends down slowly, picking it up gingerly and walks over to the cot holding the other girl. Eva silently takes her injured ankle and gently wraps it, a sort of peace offering. Her eyes still look tired and far off. Gwen reaches out a hand, warily setting it upon Eva's shoulder. Eva looks up, steadily gazing into the other girl's eyes. She feels ensnared in those deep, dark eyes, drowning yet at the same time warm.

Gwen carefully leans in bringing their faces closer. Their noses touch and she whispers again against her lips, warm breath rolling out in waves, briefly warming her face. "I want to help you..."

They stare intensely a moment longer before leaning into each other, lips melding, eyes falling closed in the sweet bliss of a new and sudden connection. Warmth floods Eva's prone form, bringing new life and an unfamiliar feeling, one she hadn't allowed herself in a long time..

Hope...

After a short pause they pull back, silence stirred by light breathing. Painted blue lips are the first to break the silence. "Eva?" Gwen questions gently.

Eva looks coyly over to the intense stare of the dark eyed girl.

"I care about you." Those few simple words bridge the gap between them, not completely, but it was a start. Layers of emotion transcended all in that brief moment broken up by those few simple words. "I care about you." she says again, steady gaze never wavering. Eva looks back at her, face slack and unsure. Her lips tremble as she struggles to form words.

"You can't." She says simply, trying to appear gruff in manner as she usually did. Her gaze wavers as confusion mars her features.

"Why?"

"Because, I'm not.. You just can't.." She mutters bitterly, but Gwen can sense the tinge of anguish in her voice.

"I think that's for me to decide." Gwen says with renewed determination, her voice firm. Eva stares at her, looking shocked and suddenly wary. Gwen reaches for her hands reassuringly, clasping them lightly as Eva flinches, obviously unfamiliar with human contact. Gwen leans forward and bestows another feather soft kiss upon her lips. She pulls back to see Eva's face dusted with a light blush, the color new to her face and making her appear more alive than before.

Eva's expression turns to a mischievous smirk. "That still doesn't explain how you got out there in the first place." It was Gwen's turn to blush as she stammers unsteadily.

"U-um.. I.." Eye contact breaks as she looks hurriedly about, perhaps for something to save her from the suddenly awkward conversation. "To tell the truth.. I was waiting.. for you.." She looks to Eva, her face bright red, only to see that Eva's matches her own.

"Oh." she whispers, shocked by the brunt honesty of the answer. She smirks again. "What are you, some sort of stalker?" Gwen flushes harder as Eva laughs loudly. Gwen soon joins in and she feels the contented silence after the laughter dies down. She looks down to their hands, still beautifully entangled, somehow inextricable.

Eva feels a light squeeze and looks up to see Gwen looking up at her adoringly. She feels entranced by this girl, she had gotten past all of her defenses so easily.

"I think.. I think I like you too.." She whispers, squeezing the other girl's hands in her own, warmth reassuring in a way that was rare in her life. They continue to look carefully at one another until they heard a loud commotion coming from the direction of the dining hall, if one could call it that.

They smile at one another and giggle as they hear the loud and grating voice of an angry "Chef" Hatchet. Their faces flush with a renewed youthful exuberance as they smile at one another.

"Should we get out of here?" Eva asks, smiling down at the younger girl.

"Yes, let's" Gwen smiles mischievously and tilts her head upwards, a sort of playfulness flitting through her eyes.

"What about your ankle?"

"Chef will make it worse." Eva snorts a laugh at this comment and nods in agreement. She bends over and hastily scoops her up as she hears them coming closer.

Eva sneaks off from the medical tent, Gwen cradled in her arms and stifling laughter as she makes a face at Duncan who was quick to spot them. Duncan simply raises an eyebrow. He just knew they were going to hook up eventually, maybe they'd let him join in..

"Kids these days.." grumbles Chef Hatchet glaring angrily at the twenty other campers. "Why when I was in the army.." he begins one of his long military tirades as the others groan. He could go on like this for hours. Duncan stops to think maybe he should have taken a hint from Eva and Gwen...


My second EvaxGwen story! Sorry for taking so long! I can get the worst case of writer's block (and frequently do!) Please leave a comment! Constructive criticism is welcome, however flames will be used to toast marshmallows! Leave reviews! Or I will be emo-- (-_\\\)